The seventy-three sonnets, unpublished in French, written by Walter Benjamin in memory of his friend Fritz Heinle, a poet who committed suicide at the age of 19, in despair or in protest against the advance of the First World War (bilingual edition).
German philosopher, art historian, literary critic, art critic and translator, Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) is one of the 20th century's most influential theorists. A member of the Frankfurt school alongside Theodor Adorno, Ernst Bloch and Max Horkheimer, he also maintained close friendships with thinkers such as Marxist theorist Georg Lukács, playwright Bertolt Brecht and Kabbalah scholar Gershom Scholem. Among Benjamin's best known works are the essays "The Task of the Translator" (1923), "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" (1936), and "Theses on the Philosophy of History" (1940). His major work as a literary critic included essays on Baudelaire, Goethe, Kafka
, Kraus, Leskov, Proust, Walser and Scheerbart. In 1940, at the age of 48, Benjamin committed suicide in Portbou at the French–Spanish border while attempting to escape from invading Nazi forces.